Wednesday, 11 August 2010

ShorttrackUK - Buxton

Right... without any more fart-arsin' around... this is what happened last Sunday...

One of teh great things about my recent house move is that all the ShorttrackUK race meetings are not on the other end of the frikkin' island. So no more 04h00 starts for me! It was overcast and a bit breezy up in the Peak district... and the rain held off.

 The Team Co-Built 'garage' - Factory! 

Cool flattracker

The Duke II flattracker is continuously morphing... I got the trick Talon rear wheel and proper dirt track tyre sorted. A couple of clearance issues to sort out (and new battery-box to build!)... but worked like a charm! The bike got sideways much easier... and it was much easier to hold a controlled slide :-) Also fitted a quick-action throttle... mabe too quick, so I'll tone it down for the next meeting. But I could now get on the gas and open her to the stops in one motion.

Check out the difference between 17" roadie wheel and tyre on the front and a pukka dirt-track wheel and tyre on the rear - thanks Talon (one of my sponsors) for the sick wheel!

 Not even a season over and my ill-fitting steel shoe already has a hole worn in it!

I went ok in the heats. They over-watered the track before the practice and that non-dirttrack 17 incher is awful in the wet. I got a 5th and 6th in the first two Thunderbike heats... so needed at least another 6th to make the final - the day's objective. I didn't deliver. :-( Got pipped on the second-last lap and missed the final by one place. Shit! I got a helmet-cam vid of that heat and will post it soon... 

Learnin' to go sidee-ways
 The Cain and Brown show nattering with Dan Walsh - the author of the brilliant book These are the Days That Must Happen to You. Buy it - read it. Julian Ryder was around the paddock too.


Wilky brings on the oranges at half-time...

I was a bit angry at myself for not making the Thunderbike final... but was still having a whale of a time getting the old girl sideways. So... I channelled that anger and energy into the Thunderbike 'B' final.

I was on pole and got the holeshot off the line... sliding her into the first turn with just a clear track of dirt ahead. Man, that felt good! I had no idea how close the pack was so just pinned my ears back and attacked! No mistakes... lots of slides!

Turn 1 - Yeah boy! Get in!

Geoffo and the lovely Cassinia (apologies if I've got the spelling wrong...) 

I just focused on the clear track ahead and rode that flattracker with more agression than I ever have. I wanted the win!

The last few laps I was feeling really tired... all that crossin' down the field the day before and the 6 heats and Shorttrack 'B' final were taking it's toll. I gee'd myself up... shouting encouragement to myslef. "C'mon Paul!"... "Fight!"... "Keep it going!"

Team Zaeta - Marco Belli and the team owner (is it Paolo? I forget...) drive out from Italy for every ShorttrackUK meeting (Jacopo Monti too!). Now that's dedi-fuckin-cation!

I had no idea how close the others were till I crossed the line under the checquered flag. Yeah! My first win!

I'm so happy that I overdo things a little on the cool-down lap - I almost take Gary out as my bike cuts out mid-slide. Outta gas! Gotta push her back home. A marshal tells me on the way: "I don't know what you were shouting, but it sure worked!" 

Geoffo looking for a way past

1st place brings that kind of grin to one's mug!

Ok... only the 'B' final... but a win! With riders behind me that normally whoop my ass.  :-)  Geoffo, Gary and Wilky were breathing down my neck the whole race... but I made no mistakes and they couldn't get a wheel in on the very short and dry track.

I won a helmet for my efforts - thanks Helmets4U. It was a great day on the clay at the most picturesque of British tracks. The bike development is coming along nicely and I'm learning loads. Looking forward to sorting out my new front end for the next round!

Flattracker got a new number-board... with some fresh pin-up art! 

Flattrack photographer Stephen Baldock had a good day too - finishing 3rd in the minibikes. Smiley-time! Thanks for the race pics dood!


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